It's not too often that I sit down at my computer, ready to write a review, with difficulty finding the words to say. When I was asked to review Do You Believefor FishFlix.comI figured I would just be watching a family friendly movie that was Christian friendly. While the movie is family friendly, and it is Christian friendly, I found it to be so much more. While the point of this review is to share with you the pros and cons of the film, my overall opinion, etc. I feel led to do more than that.
First the technical stuff:
Do You Believe, rated PG-13, is a 119 minute film featuring the likes of Mira Sorvino, Cybill Shepherd, Lee Majors, Sean Astin, and a host of others. Directed by Jonathan M. Gunn, the movie is essentially about the 6 degrees of separation between 12 individuals and how God works in their intertwined lives. Gunn does a really great job of tying all of the backstories together in an amazing package with a few twists I never saw coming. The film showcases the work of God, and the mysterious way that God works in our lives....ways that we can't even begin to imagine or understand.
Ted McGinley plays Pastor Matthew. He's driving members of his congregation home after a trip to the ER when he notices a young girl rummaging in a dumpster, noticeably pregnant. He drives onward to his friends' home, and on the way back there's a "street corner" preacher carrying a cross seemingly talking to himself. He rolls down the window and the preacher asks him if he believes in the cross. He smiles and says he's a pastor. And the preacher again asks him, and then begins to tell him that to truly believe one must act. He must move. He must profess, teach and show that belief. At this time a group of young men break into a van. The street corner preacher runs over to the van telling the boys they are doing wrong, and they will have to pay for their sin. One of them, Kriminal, pulls a gun and points at the preacher. He tells him hes going to kill him and the preacher, never flinching, says he's ready and asks if he's ready, too. He then goes on to tell them he will pray for them. An occupant in the van feels this conviction, but more on that in a bit. Pastor Matthew sees all of this and he hits him...hard. He goes to help the girl, long story short he gets her a motel room and food, and checks on her. He then goes home to write his sermon for the next day, but he can't get that street corner preacher off his mind. Meanwhile, Joe, played by Brian Bosworth, is in the ER. Here he meets a little girl named Lilly, played by Makenzie Moss and her mother Samantha, played by Mira Sorvino. Samantha and Lilly are homeless, and Lilly is sick with a fever. Again, long story short, Joe offers them a warm dry place to sleep while he takes a park bench. We later find out just how sick Joe really is. Now, back to the other guy in the van, BB AKA Percy. They do a bad thing (can't give it away, sorry) and BB ends up a the Church during the sermon. The sermon that began with everyone finding little wooden crosses and the preacher slapping red paint on a big cross in the middle of the church. Mixed in there are an unbelieving doctor, a couple of suicidal people and their relatives, a nurse, a paramedic, and a lawyer. I won't give away anymore of the plot, because I couldn't do it justice even if I tried. Really, you have to see it for yourself. The filmography is fantastic. There are twists and turns that I didn't see coming because I honestly thought it was going to happen a different way. There IS some violence, hence the PG-13 rating, and a scene of child birth that doesn't show anything except a mom on her back pushing and then the baby wrapped up. The actors are great. The story line and plot are great. The directing is spot on. It brought tears. Need I say more? Well, maybe a little more. I fully believe in full immersion water baptism. I did not let this belief cloud my opinion or anything of that nature with this movie. The movie does not take the stance of baptism as part of salvation. So that is something to consider if you are sensitive to that. Regardless, the movie is outstanding.
So there you have it. That's my review of Do You Believe. But I'm not finished. The overall and main point of this movie is that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ the Son of God. Jesus Christ, God in human flesh who died the most horrific death while nailed to a cross so that we all may live eternally with Him and God the Father in Heaven. The entire point of this movie is to show God IS real. God is NOT dead. God is NOT some old fashioned notion that can be ignored now, or some out of date fashion trend of bygone years. GOD IS REAL. And Jesus is coming back. Times are bad. Times are going to get worse. Jesus is coming back. The Bible tells us this. But guess what! The Bible also tells us that unto man there is a time to die, and after this the judgment. Readers....friends....the fact is we are all going to die one day. And that day is our last. That day is our own personal end of time. It is the end of our time to walk this Earth. It is the end of our time to seek out that salvation. When the last breath we take has escaped our lips it will be too late to seek the salvation that only the blood of Christ can give. The Bible teaches that he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. It also teaches us that faith without works is dead. We can have all the faith in the world, but it means nothing if we don't do the works. If we don't show that faith. If we don't profess that faith. That is the essence of this movie! Showing faith. Doing the works. Professing the name of Jesus and salvation through Him. That is the entire point of this movie....and it's a point in the Bible that so many are overlooking. How many will praise the Lord one minute, then the next they are posting vulgar garbage on Facebook, or uttering foul language, or living a life that is far from that of a Christian? Anyone can say the believe in Jesus and call themselves a Christian, but honestly...how many are living the life.
I'm no different. Before watching this movie I had to run out tonight to pick up a few things from a store nearby, and I needed to go ahead and get my flu shot for the year. While in the store I kept hearing an almost growling sound. I finally located the source of this sound, and it was a man who appeared to be homeless. As I made my way around the store and then on to the checkout counter I found myself behind this man at the check out. This disheveled man who didn't smell particularly nice. Didn't look nice. Sounded even worse. And to be honest, he made me feel quite uneasy when I was in the very back corner of the store with him and no one else around. I didn't want to even stand too close to him. I realize now I was standing noticeably and shamefully back from him. He barely had the money to pay for his goods (some generic peanut butter and stuff that only came up to a little over $3.00.) Then he was on his way. The cashier, who has seen me in there 1000 times, referred to him by name and was super patient with him. After he left she told me to come on up. That's when I realized how far back I had been standing. Again, this dirty and disheveled man was on my mind as I'm walking out of the store to my car in the dark. He had been there with another man I know to be homeless, and who I have also been uneasy around. I don't know why. This man has opened doors for me, smiled and said hello, etc. Anyway, as I'm walking out to my car There is "Ralph" and the other man....with a mom, a young man, and the mother's child. The child is playing with them, calling them by name, laughing and giggling. And I felt ashamed for standing so far back from him. Are we not to humble ourselves like little children? Had I humbled myself? Had I? Did I give this man a smile? Did I offer him a friendly hello? Did I show the works of God and the love of Jesus who not only died on the cross for me, but for him, too? No...no I didn't. Fast forward to the drug store where I got my flu shot mere minutes later and I once again find myself in the check out line behind what appears to be a tattoo ridden, not pleasant smelling, tattered clothes wearing, pony-tailed disheveled man. He was laughed over something, made another joke about something, and turned to look at me. I was laughing too and I said, "Sir, I don't even know you...but I like you!" And gave him a big smile. And guess what? I didn't die. I showed him kindness. I showed him respect. I showed him the humbleness that little child showed to Ralph. I did this with my light shining as bright as can be. And then I watched him walk out to a really nice car, that was his. Then I came back to my home and watched this movie. Friends, I learned a very valuable lesson tonight. We can't judge a book by its cover, and we certainly can't judge another human by their exterior cover. I learned that we all need to move. We all need to do the works of the Lord, no matter how uncomfortable we may feel. No matter how hard it may be for us. No matter our pride, or what our friends may thing, or what our family may think. How uncomfortable was Christ while he was hanging on that cross in agony, dying for us? How humiliated was He? We must not hide our Faith. We must not shun away from our Faith. We must not deny the Lord. Matthew 10:32-33 (32) Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Thinking back to the shootings in Oregon. Can you imagine being the 2nd person to be questioned after seeing the 1st person shot? Can you imagine the faith? Joe in the movie is taking his last breaths to speak to Samantha, to show her the Love of Jesus and God. Another character uses the last beats of his heart to give a wooden cross to a lost soul. The character of Bobby showed enormous faith in the movie! He was faced with a decision to either deny his faith and not lose everything (including his family) or profess his faith and risk losing it all. He professed his faith. My dad tried to climb out of his death bed to go baptize his sister mere hours before he died. Works people....Faith with out works is dead. Why have faith if you aren't going to act on that faith. If you aren't going to live your life in a way that your faith is shown? To truly believe is to have faith, but that means nothing if you don't show it. If there is anyone out there reading this who wishes to learn more about Jesus Christ and what they need to do in order to go to Heaven, please message me and I will do whatever I can to make sure you get all the help and information I can provide. So I ask all of you now, Do you believe? May God bless each and every one of you.
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